“I Just Really Wish You’d Been Present”
We’d been on a hike the day before. Just out there. Crossing a creek, playing in it.
Then, I stood on the bank. Then, I asked if we were done here.
We played a bit more, then walked on.
Returned to a home, to an office, to a car — and to our trip.
The next day, I heard, “I really wish you’d been present yesterday. We were having fun. But you weren’t fully there.”
I responded that I appreciated the reality check. Appreciated that someone cared enough to call me out.
In reality, I was crying inside. In reality, I could not wait until I could get back to my own hotel room, back to a bottle of alcohol. Back to forgetting.
I knew what was meant — and I knew I had been absent — had been focused on the next day and the day after that.
And I knew that had I played — had I engaged — the next day would still have come.
Gripped by fear, I suppose. A worry that unless everything was just so, nothing would be ok.
But I was old enough — had seen enough — by then, to know that all would be fine no matter.
That was one of several wake up calls — reality checks — in a year full of them.
The year I decided that consuming alcohol was not a match for me.
Of past inflictions, she says:
For me, this means looking straight on and going straight in with as much clarity and honesty as I have for now. A clarity and honesty that will continue evolving and be ever unfinished. From this place, I take accountability. From this place, I apologize and make amends where I can and where doing so won’t cause more harm — taking care not to dredge up their wounds on my timeline just so I can breathe easy.
To me, this is about being fully present.
I was not present on that day — not on the day on the hike nor on the next day when my behavior was called out.